Pace Mode with the AutoCoach smart watch


Original by Damien Gogoll

Using the pace mode makes sprint sets simple

 The pace mode allows the coach the time to actually observe and provide feedback on the swimmers technique and skills.

We often train in four lanes with four swimmers in each lane. So, it makes sense to use two AutoCoach watches, the AutoCoach speaker and two LED displays. With this equipment set-up, the coach does need to call out the times to the swimmers because the times are displayed on the screen / scoreboard.

Example set, done with regular frequency

The number of rounds of this set depends on the phase of training.

  • 4 x 50-meter swims doing the swimmer's 200-meter race pace on a 1.00 interval for each 50.
    1st 50-m swim begins with a dive.
    The first and third 50-meter swims are timed to feet finish on the wall.
  • 100-m recovery swim
  • 2 x 50-m @ 100-m race pace on an interval of 1:15 per 50-meters
  • 100-m recovery swim
  • 4 x 50-m Max Effort on 1.30 interval
Set-up preferences for coaches to determine and swimmers to follow

For this set, the preferred spacing between the first swimmer in the lane and the second swimmer in the same lane is 10 seconds apart, (i.e., :10s). Notice that the watch allows the spacing following the lane's lead-off swimmer to be adjusted from 5-seconds apart, or, 7.5-seconds apart, or, 10-seconds apart, or 12.5-seconds apart, or, 15-seconds apart. 

The preferred beep type is set to “take your marks," and the universal start signal for a swim race (Strtr).

All the equipment in use needs to be set to the same channel.

Do press the right dial for more than 0.5-seconds to save each selection.

STEP 2: SETUP - Select Group mode for the second watch and rotate to Group 1.

In this example, the coach is deploying a practice with two watches and supervising four lanes. Sixteen swimmers are able to do the swim sets and get their actual times off of the LED display. 

STEP 3: SETUP - Select Pace mode for the first watch


  1. Cycle time (1.00 for the first set of 4 x 50-m)
  2. Number of swimmers (4)

Select target swim time (e.g. S 1:15) and cycle time (e.g., C 1:30)

Rotate left dial will change both "S" and "C." Press unlock and rotate right dial will change "S" separately.

Select maximum number of swimmers in any lane.

Rotate right dial.

Measure split times of each lane

Short press left / right dial after start.

Stop training

Long press left dial.

Step 4: Running the Set

  1. Press the right dial 5-seconds before you want the first swimmers to start.
    The AutoCoach speakers and watch, five-seconds after the button push, gives the, “Take your marks,” and “Beep” signals  Expect the start commands to come four times at ten-second apart.
    Then 1-minute later, (the cycle time for this set is C 1:00 ) the starting commands and beeps are repeated.
  2. Time the swimmers. The timing procedure works for coaches like most stopwatches, but note of the following:
    i. The two top buttons on both sides of the AutoCoach smart watches refers to a separate lane.
    ii. The time displayed on the watches and the display boards are the actual times performed by the swimmers. No subtraction is needed for the second, third and fourth swimmers in the lanes. The LED display screens show the times for 2-to-4 seconds for each swimmer.
  3. Once the last swimmer has been timed for the fourth 50-m swim, then the swimmers do a recovery swim and the coach can stop the watch and change the Pace. Move the Cycle time from 1.00 to 1:15. Just turn the top left button and notice the changes on the watch along the bottom of the screen. Adjust until the bottom line reads, "Pace C 1:15 S 1:11. No need to go to the set up again. Then watches and system is ready for the 2 x 50-m at 100-m race pace.
  4. Another recovery swim gives the coach time to stop the watch. Then adjust the cycle time from 1:15 to 1:30. 

About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Insert YOUR comments in the box at the bottom of this -- and all the other pages. Questions. Insights. re-writes, whatever.

Swim, water polo and SKWIM coach in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Also the webmaster for the International Swim Coaches Association.

You may also like

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Subscribe to our newsletter now!